Bernie SandersBernie Sanders was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006 after serving 16 years in the House of Representatives.

He is the longest serving independent member of Congress in American history. Born in 1941 in Brooklyn, Bernie was the younger of two sons in a modest-income family. After graduation from the University of Chicago in 1964, he moved to Vermont.

Early in his career, Sanders was director of the American People’s Historical Society. Elected Mayor of Burlington by 10 votes in 1981, he served four terms. Before his 1990 election as Vermont's at-large member in Congress, Sanders lectured at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and at Hamilton College in upstate New York.

The Almanac of American Politics has called Sanders a "practical" and "successful legislator." He has focused on the shrinking middle class and widening income gap in America that is greater than at any time since the Great Depression.

Other priorities include reversing global warming, universal health care, fair trade policies, supporting veterans and preserving family farms. He serves on five Senate committees: Budget; Veterans; Energy; Environment; and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

In 2011, his book titled The Speech: A Historic Filibuster on Corporate Greed and the Decline of our Middle Class was published.

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Our kids are counting on us to reverse austerity.

According to UNICEF, even in the world's richest countires, children remain “the most enduring victims” of the recession. In the last six years, 2.6 million more kids have fallen below the poverty line, and more than half of them live right here in the United States.

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